Council backs down over Kettering food bank's 'petty' parking ticket

A volunteer was given a ticket as they unloaded items to be given to families in need

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 1:54 pm

A parking ticket which was put on a Kettering food bank's van while a volunteer unloaded items has been cancelled after a public outcry.

North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) faced criticism last year when a traffic warden penalised the Kettering Foodbank in Market Street, with the penalty charge notice (PCN) described as 'petty'.

A volunteer had pulled into a loading only bay at about 8.30am on December 9 to offload items for struggling families, leaving a note on the windscreen of the food bank's branded van just yards from their base.

The food bank was given a ticket yards from its base.

There was disbelief when the charity posted a picture showing their ticket on social media, with many businesses and individuals offering to pay the £70 charge.

But after the food bank appealed against the ticket NNC has now backed down, deciding to withdraw it as a 'gesture of goodwill'.

Charity trustee Jane Calcott said: "We are delighted.

"Lots of people had offered to pay it for us, but even so it's good that it's been cancelled."

A letter sent to them from North Northamptonshire Council, seen by the Northants Telegraph, said: "After carefully considering your appeal, as a gesture of goodwill I am pleased to inform you that on this occasion the notice has been withdrawn.

"I can confirm that a civil enforcement officer allows a discretionary observation period to ascertain whether loading or unloading is taking place and if no activity is observed at the vehicle during that time a PCN will be issued.

"I should take this opportunity to advise you that any further PCNs issued to your vehicle for the same contravention may not be withdrawn."

The council had previously said there was no evidence of any loading taking place and that it was 'essential' that they were consistent with how their policy is applied.